Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sew Along Results

As you know, I've been doing the Jamie Dress Sew Along with Sara at Sew Sweetness. I wanted to give a pattern review and show my results. So - I'll start by saying the pattern is excellent. It's written so well and the photos are fantastic in showing every step of the way. If you've been thinking of doing clothing for yourself I'm sure the whole line of patterns is written just as well.
My problems came when I tried to modify things without knowing what the heck I was doing. My first issue was that I chose a light colored fabric and it needed some type of lining in the skirt. The bodice is lined so no problems there. I should have just left the skirt alone and bought a slip! 

Instead I tried to line it and gather it with the lining and the top fabric.  This resulted in a lot of thickness around the waist. My husband told me I looked like a Victorian woman with a bustle! Translation - "yes, that dress makes your butt look big".

While I was struggling with what to do from here, I saw Kim,  member of the flickr group post her version - a tunic. I love it! I don't wear dresses much so this was a perfect idea for me.

Again, I had no idea what I was doing. I ripped out all the lining and chopped some of the fabric off the sides of the skirt to reduce the amount of gathers. But, I forgot to factor in my hips! Here are my results.
Since this is a fashion don't, I was going to put black bars over my face, instead I decided to leave the camera there!
 See that pooch? It's too tight at the bottom and doesn't flow nicely. Creates it's own muffin top. Here's a better view.

Anyone know how to fix that?

At any rate, the pattern is great, it was easy to follow. It was my own silliness that caused this mess. I believe I'm done with this shirt. Although I might re-claim the fabric for quilting.


Teresa said...

Ugg! I gave up on my jamie dress and have decided to scrap it for material. I am going to try to do the tunic, but I don't know if I will have it done in time for the linkup!
I would just put the pattern away for a month or so and then try again in a few months. It gets a bit frustruating when it doesnt turn out how you want it too!

Sara @ Sew Sweetness said...

I'm so glad you finished it. :-) I know it's not much consolation, but I have a few tops that I made for myself (and a disaster of a purse) that I will never use because they just came out very silly and I don't know what I was thinking. But even though my tops were technically failures, I chalk it up to learning experience...what I did wrong in those, I will never do wrong in clothing again.

I think the other commenter was right, put the pattern away for awhile and come back to it later this summer. Now that you are confident that you can work through the pattern, I'm sure the next dress will be a success!

Kim @ craftyNHmom said...

So sorry for your frustration. I've been there too. I have a reject pile in the corner of my sewing area that I clean out once in awhile. My attempt at baby shoes was laughable! They looked like they'd fit a baby alien maybe.
On your tunic, I love how pretty and feminine the bodice looks, maybe you could eventually fish it out of the reject pile and put another skirt portion on, when the frustration wears off. Either way you learned some new things, as Sara said. :)

Leila said...

I don't know how great this would look, but you could always unpick (ick!) the side seams and add a triangular piece of fabric so it has more flow.

Or just unpick the side seams and turn them under so there are slits on the sides. You could wear a tee or chemise layered under it if the slits need to be too high and pretend it is the newest look in fashion to have side silts that go up to the waist. :)

Things like this are why I rarely (insert Never) sew for myself. You get major points for even attempting it.

Bree said...

It looks cute other than the hip part! I probably would have made the exact same mistake, but now I'm glad I can learn from yours.

I think what I would do to fix it is to rip out the seam on both sides starting at the hem, only going a couple inches on each side. Hopefully you can go up enough to fix the problem, but not above the waist of your pants. Then hem each piece, separately, so you have kind of a slit in each side. I've seen shirts like this before, and they're cute, and you might be able to salvage it yet!

Either way, I agree with the others, it's probably best to set it aside for a bit before doing any work on it. Any struggles right now will make you even more frustrated & more likely not to work it out.

Jacey said...

Aww, man! Too bad. I hope you can try again with the pattern. I bet you learned a lot from this experience, though.

I find it frustrating sometimes to try a new skill. In my head, I can envision the result, but I've learned thinking you can do something isn't quite the same as actually doing it. I wish it were, though!

I know you can make it look the way you want it to on your second try.

Clumsy Chord said...

I agree with Bree (comment 5) about trying to put slits in the side. That should open it up around your hips so that it'll sit more smoothly. (But I'm no seamstress, so.)

mckeearts studio said...

I haven't made this pattern, but even with store-bought blouses sometimes my hips are too big. It's worked well to just split the side seams and add an extra swatch of fabric, or hem them to leave a slit. I've also seen some do a split right up the center on the front(or back) and put a coordinating triangle of fabric there to open it up and give it some contrast. Put it away and come back to it when you aren't mad at it. :)

Lee said...

Oh, what a bummer! But it's really cute other than being too tight around the hips! I hate to say it, but maybe you should think about trying to make another one? Now that you've learned all these valuable lessons, I bet the second one would be perfect.

Anyway, I really appreciate this post, because I'm pretty sure I would have made all the exact same mistakes you did! And your husband's comments cracked me up. : )

Jessica Kelly said...

Oh no! I agree with everyone else, it looks so cute except for the hip part! Also agreed, I would have made the exact same mistake as you. I would probably just chalk this one up to experiece and make a second one now that you know what NOT to do!!

Lina Thomlinson said...

What a bummer! That sounds like exactly what I would have done so hopefully you can feel good that others will now learn from your mistake. That's some consolation, right? I agree with the suggestions that you try to salvage it by ripping open those side seams and inserting an extra triangular bit of fabric. I had that thought as soon as I read your post so I'm glad others seem to agree. I pictured it with a contrasting piece of fabric, perhaps in a pretty solid, so once you've gotten over the disappointment perhaps you could give that a try. It's too cute not to try to salvage in some way!

Linz said...

You've gotten a lot of great tips (I would go with unpicking and putting in an insert...)

BUT - It looks great! I love the fabric, and you did a great job!! :)

Anonymous said...

Bring it saturday along with the extra fabric and we can fix it then!

CityHouseStudio said...

This has been an interesting experience, hasn't it?
My first attempt didn't fit AT ALL -- there was no way I was going to even get the sides to touch the zipper, much less zip it up! And after hearing about your attempt to convert to the tunic, I might just make the full dress when I try again!


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